How to Do You Get Tooth Decay in Summit, IL

Everyone is at risk of having tooth decay. However, there are many steps you can take to protect your smile and maintain good oral health. Understanding the causes of tooth decay and the factors that increase your risk can help you avoid it. Regular family dental care in Summit, IL, is vital in preventing tooth decay and its complications. 

Reasons Tooth Decay Can Develop

Plaque is the main reason tooth decay can occur. This sticky film is composed of bacteria and saliva. When left unaddressed, plaque can slowly erode your tooth enamel and cause permanent damage, such as dental caries or tooth decay. Although you may not notice a small dental cavity, it can worsen over time. Initially, you may experience tooth sensitivity or pain whenever you eat something hot or cold or bite down hard. When not treated, a hole or discoloration in the surface of your tooth can develop. 

Tooth Decay Risk Factors

The following factors can increase your risk of having tooth decay:

  • Eating sweets regularly. Sugary food and beverages give mouth bacteria lots of fuel to perform their destructive activities. 
  • Poor oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth two times every day can help remove plaque before it results in tooth decay. Going to your dentist for regular dental cleanings helps eliminate whatever you missed during brushing. Also, this allows your dentist to address issues early before complications arise. 
  • Tooth placement. Your teeth in hard-to-clean areas are susceptible to decay. These include the teeth in the back of your mouth and misaligned teeth. 
  • Some health issues. Those who have a dry mouth do not have enough saliva to rinse mouth bacteria and plaque from the surface of their teeth. Usually, eating disorders and heartburn introduce stomach acids into your mouth. Such acids can damage your enamel and make it prone to decay. 
  • Worn dental fixes. Dental crowns and fillings are designed to restore the look and function of your teeth. But they can wear out over time, creating places for bacteria and plaque to hide. Make sure to visit your dentist to ensure your fixes are still intact. 

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

To prevent tooth decay, you need to watch what you eat. Limit your consumption of sugary and sticky food and drinks. Also, always stay on top of your oral hygiene and keep up with your dental checkups. Inform your dentist whenever you have health concerns that can increase your risk of tooth decay.